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6

THURSDAY

The conceit of Ev Ehrlich’s satirical faux memoir, Grant Speaks, is twofold: that this “first draft” of Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs was recently uncovered during restoration of Mark Twain’s Hartford, Conn., house (it was Twain who suggested that Grant write his memoirs as a way of supporting his family post mortem) and that the tanner’s son who grew up to be general in chief of the Union armies and president of the United States was, in fact, an impostor. The book’s humor comes from Ehrlich’s recasting of the great characters of Grant’s age—Lincoln is a sanguine hick given to rambling fables, for example—and off-center reworking of Grant’s memoirs, often cited as one the best autobiographies of the 19th century. True Grant fans will understand why “it was only after I was repeatedly told a noun was the name of a thing that I came to believe it” is funny—if you are one, join Ehrlich when he reads and sign copies of his new book at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda. Free. (301) 986-1761. (Janet Hopf)